(WSVN) - It’s every student’s dream to walk across the graduation stage, but this moment was even more meaningful for one South Florida graduate.

A serious accident left Aldo Amenta paralyzed soon after starting college, but he took a significant step that once seemed impossible.

It’s been a long road for Amenta, and he’s stepping into a bright future with his new master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Florida International University.

“This is one of the biggest moments of my life,” Amenta said. “Super excited, grateful, so glad to be here today.”

Amenta’s path took a detour in 2015 when he was paralyzed after a diving accident.

“I could have died that day because I drowned and everything,” he said. “After that, my heart stopped.”

He’d only been in college a few months at the time, so he was forced to put his education on hold while he spent years in therapy relearning how to walk — an exoskeleton is now part of his new normal.

He first walked across the stage in 2018 when he got his undergraduate degree at FIU.

All the struggle and sacrifice after his serious spinal cord injury inspired Amenta’s career aspirations.

“I want to use my knowledge, my expertise, my personal experience and use my degree as a biomedical engineer to be able to get in the industry, be able to do research and develop new technologies for people like me or anyone that might need it,” he said.

Amenta said his personal journey isn’t over yet.

He’s looking forward to stem cell treatment or a stimulator device to help him walk again.

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